Saturday, August 21, 2010

fountain-head and ice bath adventures

See my booty?  It's the one in the middle.  Why is my booty in the air?  Because we ran 17 miles in some screaming Southern California heat (I had to specify SoCal heat because "screaming" heat here is only like 78...and yes I will complain because I ran 17 miles, thanks), and needed something cold and wet on our heads.  Around mile 15, this lovely fountain was screaming our names and so, without hesitation, we dunked.  I don't regret it.  I only regret not jumping in all the way.  Maybe next week.  And maybe next week I'll fix my hair so those tiny little wispy hairs around my face aren't sticking straight up in the air only to be discovered an hour later as I glance at my reflection on the car window.  Good or bad, I must have smelled so bad after 17 miles that no one came close enough to me to notice my messy fountain-head. 

In other wetness news, I finally ventured into the world of post-run ice bathing.  Quite the adventure, I'll say.  It took me 20 minutes just to figure out how to plug up the tub drain!  The proper method of ice-bathing, I've been told, is to sit in the tub when it's empty and then turn on the cold water and stay put until the bath is full of cold water, at which point you can start dumping ice all over your leggies.  Supposedly if you don't move your legs too much during this process, the icy coldness doesn't hurt quite so much.  As I soaked in some cold and dirty bath water, I realized I'd have to get up and turn off the water at some point.  So much for not moving, right?  In any case, I sucked it up, dumped in some ice, and tried to relax in preparation for some cold discomfort.

I love my dog, I really do, but he's got to learn that he doesn't need to rescue me from the icy cold water by eating the ice cubes out of the bath while I'm in it; and he doesn't need to warn me of the danger of frostbite by barking at me; and he certainly doesn't need to protect my skin complexion by licking the salt off of my face with his tongue!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

i wish...

i wish i could dance. like they do in the movies.  the kind of dancing that few people have talent enough to do.  the kind of dancing that took them years of hard work. and they did it because they had a dream.  i wish i had a dream.

Friday, July 9, 2010

sometimes you just need...

* ...a pep talk
* ...a day off
* ...some cough medicine
* ...a belly rub
* ...your ears cleaned
* ...a cookie for breakfast
* ...a plaid running skirt and a matching gym bag
* ...macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk
* arthroscopic shoulder MRI...or not
* ...a big wet kiss from a big fluffy pup
* ...a day at the beach especially when its cloudy
* ...a bath and your nails clipped
* ...some fresh basil that isn't wilted
* ...tea with milk
* ...a thermometer and some orange juice
* ...jammies at 3pm
* ...something pretty
* ...a pedicure and maybe a manicure too
* ...a neck and shoulder and that's it massage least those are the things we need over here (yes, the pooch was a large contributor to this list)

Happy Friday!!  Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

bring it (and don't judge me, please)!

Well I've officially lost count and don't know what practice number I'm on.  All I know is that it was 9 miles...NINE.  I don't know why they thought we'd skip 8 and go straight to 9.  Seemed like a horrible idea to me, but I'm obviously no expert, so I just did what coach told me to because following instructions is the easiest part of my day (I say this often, you'll see).

"Practice" started at 8am.  The world cup game (USA vs Ghana) started at 11am.  I did the math and realized that with the typical pre-run chat time, plus 2-ish hours of running, plus a mandatory refuel via Starbucks, I would not make it back home in time to watch the game if I stuck to the plan (ok, so I can follow instructions, but sometimes I interpret them my own way).  So, like a true soccer fan and a dedicated marathon-trainer, I dragged my booty out of bed at 4am...FOUR prep for a 6am...SIX to get back in time to catch coach's weekly rantings and the game.  (I needed two hours between breakfast and go-time, as I have the most sluggish digestive system known to any 28 27 year- old.)

I know you don't care what I ate for breakfast, but this is important because, well, it's funny.  We got our nutrition information, so I tried to plan out my fuel according to the instructions (see a theme here?).  I ate a couple of my homemade healthified peach muffins and drank the prescribed amount of water.  I also decided that a teensie bit of caffeine wouldn't hurt too bad, and that if I was going to try it, now would be the time since it's still early on. I made myself a cup of my every-day tea - Irish breakfast with a bit of honey and milk.  Then I went back to sleep for 45 minutes to let my tummy work on that.  Right before I left, I had my typical pre-run green juice and more of the prescribed H20, and set off on my journey.

As soon as I arrived at the glorious parking lot with the fancy fountain at Malaga Cove in PV, I realized I really ought to have used the potty (again) before I left the house.  I searched for the bathroom and found it locked, so I set off on my run hoping that it would somehow get "re-used" by my body and I wouldn't have to tinkle after awhile.  Well...less than a mile into the run, I realized I was wrong about that.  I wondered if running with a full bladder would feel like running with a water belt, and since people could do that, maybe I could too.  Again, I was wrong about that.  I made a split second decision, thankful for the woodsy area next to the road, and took care of matters, then jumped back onto the road like nothing unusual had just happened. must now be astonished that I did that AND that I admitted it.  Whatever.  It didn't phase me.  And I'm PROUD of it!  And then I had the best 9 mile run EVER.

In all seriousness, though, the route was amazing.  It circled around the PV Golf Course, the second half of which involved some really fun windy downhills (and peacocks running around), then went up the hell-ish Library Hill, then dumped out on PV drive for a bit more uphill trail running, and ended with the trek all the way back down the hill.  I finished almost 20 minutes faster than I'd planned.  I loved the route, I felt great, and I made it back home in time to cry over USA's loss to Ghana.

My nutrition record (from what I can remember):

pre-run nutrition:
night before: pasta with peas and lots of water
4am: two healthy peach muffins, tea, 20 oz water
530am: green juice, 8 oz water

during-run nutrition:
first 3m: ~8oz water
mile 4.5: 1 shot block
last 4m: lemon-lime Heed (yuck!)...didn't finish
(by the way, I did not stick to the nutrition instructions here either...I was too full)

post-run nutrition:
immediately after: Recoverite (citrust)
breakfast: Starbucks spinach, egg white, feta wrap, and a chocolate banana smoothie and more water
lunch: afghan food from the farmer's market
I don't remember the rest of the day, but I'm sure there was dinner, and then an outing to the Edison which involved two half-glasses of tanq and tonic, some munchies, and some cupcakes.  I think I had half of a headache.  Not a full-blown one, but I certainly didn't feel 100%.

My next run will be solo again...10 miles.  Hope it's as good as my 9.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

summa-time and strawberries (part 1)

It's now officially summer and that means I can't walk 10 steps at the farmer's market without seeing beautiful bright red strawberries.  Irresistible, right?

Especially when they're as big as your palm!  Check this puppy out!

Since we're swimming with strawberries this time of year, we're trying to get creative with how to use know, other than just wash-and-eat...which happens too and is the reason we purchase double the berries we plan on using. 

Every Sunday I bake a batch of muffins for us to eat for breakfast in the car on the way to work.  What better summa-time muffin than a strawberry muffin?!?  Why are strawberry muffins not more popular?  I didn't really want to make plain old strawberry muffins, I wanted to spruce them up with something.  Wanna know what else abounds in the summa-time?  Basil.  And there we have it...strawberry basil muffins.  Don't freak out.  It's amazing.  You like strawberries and mint, right?  Well basil has that same fresh flavor that pairs so nicely with sweet sweet berries.  Trust me, it's good.

See the basil???

I used this blackberry muffin recipe as a model, but you'll see how much I change things up (and make them a wee bit healthier)

Strawberry Basil Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
1 tsp milk (sometimes I leave this out if I don't have milk)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz fresh strawberries, quartered
chopped basil (I didn't measure, but I used somewhere around 3tbsp I think)

Preheat the oven to 400deg.  Spray a regular 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over the strawberries, add basil, stir.  Set aside.  (I did not do this but I wish I had.  Macerating the berries brings out the natural sugars and juices which would mix nicely with the basil)

Combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) in a medium bowl and set it aside.  Combine wet ingredients (except berries) in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently to combine.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  You want to stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Then add the strawberries.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups (I actually use 16 cups for smaller muffins...whatever you choose).  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops look slightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Let cool for a couple minutes before removing from the pan.



The boy chef wannabe got ahold of some berries as well and made something interesting.  Stay tuned for that...

Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm way behind on blogging.  I have 3 posts that I've started to write (meaning I've given them titles) and have failed to write about my last 2 weekends of marathon training.  The empty posts will just have to wait because I really don't feel like being 3 practices behind.

The last two weekend practices (#3 and #4) I ditched.  Yep ditched.  I'm antisocial.  Just kidding (or am I?)  Actually practice #3 I didn't completely ditch, I just didn't have the time to mess around with a shoe clinic, coach's comments, and a 6 mile run that would keep me out until noon.  I had things to do before I left for Denver and didn't want to bum around all morning.  So instead, I crawled out of bed at 5am, shoved some leftover muffin in my mouth and drove up the hill to meet my fantastic mentor Shannon in PV at 6am so we could get our run out of the way and then meet up the rest of the team at the shoe store for the clinic.  Seeeee...I'm not all bad for ditching...I had good intentions and still got my 6 miles in.  Actually it was a great run.  There's a lot less pressure when I'm just running with one person.  We kept a really comfortable pace and chatted the whole way and time flew.  Lovely.  And I didn't feel like a train wreck later in the day.  I have yet to figure out why...maybe because I kept my heart rate really low.  We met the rest of the team for shoe clinic, then I messed around with some shoes and had to drag myself away before buying another pair of running shoes.  I can't tell you how much I love buying running shoes and workout clothes.  It's a real problem.  I don't like fashion, you see, I like comfort.  This is why my work clothes are years old and I have a new lululemon tank almost monthly.  Problem.  Please fix me.

Anyways...I spent the next week in Denver with the family.  Maybe that's for another post.  There's too much to say but I somehow can't muster the energy to talk about it.  It's hard...least of all for me probably.

That being said, I was in Denver for practice #4 and missed it completely.  There was no chance in heck that I was going to run 7 miles in Denver without oxygen, so I opted to wait until Sunday when I'd be back in CA and could breathe in some smog-filled oxygen.   And so I did.  And hated it.  I hated the route actually.  Usually we run up in the hills on a nice soft train.  This route went down by the beach on the same road I used to run over and over when I lived in South Redondo.  Don't get me wrong, running by the beach is kinda awesome...for awhile.  But when you realize you're pounding concrete as hard as you can and there's no shade and no relief and no dolphins, it's not fun anymore.  I felt a headache coming on around mile 2.  Not saying I got a headache at mile 2, I just knew I would getting one later because of the insane amount of pressure in my head.  The headache came full force later in the day and couched me for my entire Saturday.  Please tell me why...I can't figure it out.  I know what you're gonna say, though.  Dehydration.  I had a water bottle in my hand, ok?  The only thing I can really think is that I was dehydrated from the air in Colorado and the plane ride the day before.  Let's hope so because I can't imagine another headache like that after tomorrow's 9er.

I'll attempt to remember what I consumed almost three weeks ago...

#3 (6 miles grrrrreat)

pre-run nutrition:
the night before: maybe this is when I had salmon and cannelini beans with jen?
the morning of: blackberry muffin?

during: one bottle of water

post-run nutrition:
immediately after: coconut water and some puffins and water
breakfast: ?

#4 (7 miles with headache)

pre-run nutrition:
the night before: whole wheat pasta with mushrooms and peas and parm (yum, by the way) and a red velvet cupcake that boy made for me for my return-to-LA surprise!
immediately before: green juice and puffins and water
during: one bottle of water

post-run nutrition:
immediately after: coconut water (watered down), bottle of water
breakfast: sprouted grain english muffin with egg and cheese
...then i ate everything I could find for the rest of the day because headaches make me want to eat my face off

Friday, June 11, 2010

happy friiiiiiday!

Dear blog,

Thanks for helping me remember what I'm supposed to do today:

* nice long bike ride
* catch up blogs
* update training log
* fundraising email
* call mom
* buy dog food
* buy replacement water bottle for long runs
* send out facebook messages about fundraising
* update budget
* curse blogger for being difficult today
* begin packing for Denver (requires packing list!)
* laundry
* bake muffins for boy's breakfast
* yoga?
* prepare fundraising materials to take to Denver

That's all I can remember now. Thanks!